Always thinking: Backing up sensor to alert driver when car is in far enough.

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
No, I'm not here to complain about my wife's backing into the garage. It's just that sometimes she goes way too deep and hits stuff. You think she'd learn. But she doesn't.

I have been looking at backup sensors that will trigger a red light when she has backed far enough into the garage. Not that she'll pay much attention to it; but I was thinking of getting a hold of some of those garage door safety beams and gluing a reflector on the floor. Both beams would look at that reflector, and when she covers it with her car it will trigger a red light. Yes, the light would stay on all the time she's parked - I don't much care about that. In fact, that could be something I address later. For now I'm wondering if anyone might know if what I propose will work. OR maybe put it near the door so that when she crosses the reflector a light comes on and when she's far enough back it goes off. THAT should be her cue to stop before she crashes into my home built cart yet again.

I'll bang out a drawing of what I'm thinking and post it in a few minutes.

Thanks.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
Before she blocks the beam the lights are off. When she crosses the reflector the light comes on. When she's backed up far enough to expose the reflector the light goes off. At that point I could activate a red light that will stay on for (maybe) 2 minutes.

X Backing in.jpg
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
So why does she back into the garage instead of going forward as is commonly done?
Backing into the street with cars and children going to school can be hazardous to other people. At least if she backs into the driveway and garage she can pull straight out. Before she backs in she can clearly see if children are present, or if other cars are coming.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
Actually, I suppose I could use a laser diode and a photo-transistor instead of GDO safety beams. Or UV diodes and sensors. I have both sets.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,876
Tennis ball on a string for the front windshield? Hopefully nothing is on the roof to snag it.

Could also have a simple... you beat me to it.

Except instead of operating the door, I would use another visual signal like flashing the overhead light. A light over the garage door header would be obscured by the door; one next to it would be fine.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
Actually, I suppose I could use a laser diode and a photo-transistor instead of GDO safety beams. Or UV diodes and sensors. I have both sets.
Have the sensor trigger an arm that "thumps" the back of the car, say, a tennis ball on an arm. That should stop her without damaging the car.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,877
I'd opt for a simple mechanical solution. Before someone bought me a pair of stops similar to this:
upload_2019-3-15_11-57-49.png
I used a 2x4 on the floor for one of the tires.

I'm thinking about suspending a tennis ball from the ceiling to indicate proper space to the shelves that line the walls.

We back in one vehicle and drive in on the other side. That puts the driver side doors in the middle of the garage. We only leave inches of space between the other side and the shelves that line the walls.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
3,863
A decent retroreflector will be far more effective than a bike replector, and easier to mount as well. Another method could be to have a spotlight shining straight down from above, that comes on when the garage door opener opens the door, positioned so that it suddenly illuminates the top of the dashboard when she is in the right spot. Also, put a 2 by 4 across the parking spot so that the wheels just hit it when the car should stop. AND, you can use a limit switch triggered by the rear bumper, to set off a large electric bell when she backs up too far. An old burgler alarm bell is a good choice. It will help her remember to be careful.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I'd opt for a simple mechanical solution. Before someone bought me a pair of stops similar to this:
View attachment 172420
I used a 2x4 on the floor for one of the tires.

I'm thinking about suspending a tennis ball from the ceiling to indicate proper space to the shelves that line the walls.

We back in one vehicle and drive in on the other side. That puts the driver side doors in the middle of the garage. We only leave inches of space between the other side and the shelves that line the walls.
I have used the hanging tennis ball scheme, and also a motion detecting laser that goes to a spot on the dash through the windshield.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,877
I have used the hanging tennis ball scheme, and also a motion detecting laser that goes to a spot on the dash through the windshield.
You can also used a fixed object/location to tell you when you've gone far enough. Something relative to the side mirror on the passenger side would be convenient because you need to use that mirror to gauge distance while backing in.

The 2x4 was for my Wife when backing in was new to her.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
I've done the 2x4 thing but because I do a lot of wood working the 2x4s tend to get in the way and either they get kicked or, and she's done this, back in, hit them, slam on the brakes and actually PUSH the 2x4 back an inch. Enough times and she's thinking she has plenty of space to go back.

The tennis ball thing - that didn't work for my mother-in-law either. And she'd pull straight in. She'd hit the ball and decide she needed to go a little further. Wasn't until the right fender corner hit the wall that she would stop. TIME AFTER TIME! As far as a tennis ball, backing in means she won't see it. However, the idea of a ball on an arm - if she hits the ball it could trigger a switch and (when and only when the garage door is open) turn on a red light saying STOP!
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I've done the 2x4 thing but because I do a lot of wood working the 2x4s tend to get in the way and either they get kicked or, and she's done this, back in, hit them, slam on the brakes and actually PUSH the 2x4 back an inch. Enough times and she's thinking she has plenty of space to go back.

The tennis ball thing - that didn't work for my mother-in-law either. And she'd pull straight in. She'd hit the ball and decide she needed to go a little further. Wasn't until the right fender corner hit the wall that she would stop. TIME AFTER TIME! As far as a tennis ball, backing in means she won't see it. However, the idea of a ball on an arm - if she hits the ball it could trigger a switch and (when and only when the garage door is open) turn on a red light saying STOP!
I like the "haptic" idea, if the switch is activated, the arm makes a thump, to make her feel like she has hit something.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
I fitted a back up camera with 7" display screen, $50.00 Ebay.
Max.
Car already has one.

The garage door is a roll top type. Anything hanging from the ceiling will be hit by the door when it opens. It'd have to be hung on the door. But then when the door comes down it could interfere with the safety beams and send the door back up. When it comes to making things idiot proof - my wife is hard to beat.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,877
I fitted a back up camera with 7" display screen, $50.00 Ebay.
I'm old school and still don't depend on backup cameras. The backup assist in our Explorer drives me nuts. Every time I back up I need to turn off it's warnings. All of it's "alignment" indicators are useless when you only have a few inches of clearance.

The blind spot function on the mirrors is also distracting.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,876
I've done the 2x4 thing but because I do a lot of wood working the 2x4s tend to get in the way and either they get kicked or, and she's done this, back in, hit them, slam on the brakes and actually PUSH the 2x4 back an inch. Enough times and she's thinking she has plenty of space to go back.

The tennis ball thing - that didn't work for my mother-in-law either. And she'd pull straight in. She'd hit the ball and decide she needed to go a little further. Wasn't until the right fender corner hit the wall that she would stop. TIME AFTER TIME! As far as a tennis ball, backing in means she won't see it. However, the idea of a ball on an arm - if she hits the ball it could trigger a switch and (when and only when the garage door is open) turn on a red light saying STOP!
If you put a threaded anchor in the floor, you can attach removable chocks. A 2x4 is OK for many people, but a tapered wheel chock is better.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I'm old school and still don't depend on backup cameras. The backup assist in our Explorer drives me nuts. Every time I back up I need to turn off it's warnings. All of it's "alignment" indicators are useless when you only have a few inches of clearance.

The blind spot function on the mirrors is also distracting.
My X5's cameras are quite good, and the collision sensors have enough resolution that I can count of them for inches. The newer ones are even better. Mine includes an "overhead" view derived from four cameras. Really amazing.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
3,577
You can also used a fixed object/location to tell you when you've gone far enough.
I have clamps hanging on the wall. Told her not to pass them. She doesn't stop until she IS passed them. Told her I'd hang a big red stop sign on the wall. Trouble with that is she might not stop until the stop sign is in full view through the front windshield. At least a red light will tell her when to stop. I think.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,877
The garage door is a roll top type. Anything hanging from the ceiling will be hit by the door when it opens. It'd have to be hung on the door.
The standard height door should be shorter than a typical car.
 
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